Crimes Past(7)

By: Lauren Carr

“You’re not my sweetheart.” Tonya wrapped both arms around Storm’s thick furry neck. “Is he?” She kissed the dog on the snout. Storm responded by wagging her tail as fast as it could go.

Tonya had lived on the lake her whole life. Many suspected the long hours she put in at the station were an excuse to not go home where she lived with two of her three grown children. She considered her four dogs more selfsufficient than her offspring.

David had to only open the box of donuts before Bogie, his deputy chief, swooped in from his office to snag the Boston creamfilled pastry. “It’s about time!” He took a big bite and uttered a groan of pleasure. “If that doesn’t hit the spot.”

Deputy Chief Art Bogart, called Bogie, was a mountain of a man whose muscles were as hard as rocks. His thick mustache and hair were touched with gray. The lines on his strong face told of a man who had lived a hard sixtyfive years.

David’s late father, Patrick O’Callaghan had been Spencer’s previous police chief. Bogie had been his closest friend and colleague. When David took over as chief of police, Bogie was the first officer he called to be his deputy.

“If you’re going to be spending your nights with Doc Washington, the least she could do is feed you breakfast before you come in to work,” David said.

“Jealous,” Bogie said before taking another big bite that left less than half of the donut. “Doc has a friend working at WVU hospital who is dying to give you a lesson in biology.”

“Not interested. I’m taking a break from women for the time being.”

“She’s a doctor. Your pappy always wanted you to marry a doctor.”

“No.” David’s cell phone vibrated on his hip. After snatching the phone from its case, he read the caller ID. “Mac.”

Mac Faraday. His halfbrother.

David put the phone to his ear. “Hey, M—”

“How much do you love me?” Mac’s tone was high pitched—not his usual smooth controlled self.

“That sounds an awful lot like a loaded question.”

“I hate loaded questions,” Bogie mumbled before draining the last of the coffee in the carafe into his mug.

“There’s been an incident involving the mayor,” Mac said.

David could hear the roar of the engine to Mac’s sports car. “What kind of incident? Is he hurt?”

“He’s fine. Can’t say the same for his opponent, though. Dave, it’s bad.”

“How bad?”

“I need you to get rid of a body.”

After instructing the police chief on how best to cover up the homicide, Mac Faraday turned his sports car off the road on Spencer Mountain. The scenic overlook provided a panoramic view of Deep Creek Lake down below. They were only a few minutes from the Spencer Inn, which rested at the top of the mountain.

Mac glanced over at the hundredpound German shepherd in the passenger seat of his convertible sports car. Whining, Gnarly pawed at his snout. Drops of blood seeped from the deep cat scratches. Tuffs of fur had been torn from his forehead.

Mac removed a wad of paper napkins from the glove compartment and doused them with water from his drinking bottle. “Come here, old boy. We’ll get you fixed up.”

His face filled with misery, Gnarly draped his upper body across the console and lay his head in Mac’s lap. More concerned about Gnarly than his tailored slacks and sports coat, Mac dabbed at the wounds on the dog’s big head.

“Neither of us saw that coming, did we?” He wet the napkins and continued to clean the dog up. “It’s okay. It was selfdefense. Granted, that cat was five times smaller than you, but what did he expect you to do when he attached himself to your face?” He examined a couple of puncture wounds on Gnarly’s scalp. It looked like a serious bite.

“What is Ms. Kleinfeld thinking bringing feral cats to Spencer Point to live outside next to a house with a German shepherd?” Mac examined Gnarly’s head. The bleeding had finally stopped. “Then, she blames the dog for chasing her cats—as if dogs haven’t been chasing cats for thousands of years.” He adjusted Gnarly’s rhinestone collar. “It’s probably your fault, too, for forcing her cat to hide in the bushes next to our front steps to launch his attack.”